Two well-known animals from the Norwegian fauna are represented on the first stamps of the year. In their own way, the red deer and the badger have both shaped an important space for themselves in the Norwegian fauna.
The red deer belongs to the species of ruminants which also includes roe deer, reindeer and moose. From being a "Westerner" of Norwegian wildlife, red deer have steadily increased in number, and since the end of the 1990's they have spread eastwards in large numbers. The autumn deer hunt has become something of a supplement to traditional moose and reindeer hunting. This year, more than 30 000 red deer were shot in Norway. Only the male has antlers, and if the antlers of a large stag grow jagged and crown-formed, we call this animal a crown-stag. Female deer are called hind and the young animals are calves.
Badgers are chubby, short-legged, long-snouted members of the marten family. If we do see a badger it is often the carcass of a dead one unfortunate enough to encounter a vehicle when crossing a road late at night. Badgers are active during the night, whilst we sleep. They fatten themselves up on slugs, earthworms and other treats until the late autumn, when they take their families underground to hibernate over the long winter. They make their burrow, or set, as it is known, in hillsides, in woodland or even under old houses if there are no deep foundations. Once they have found a location, they can remain in the same place for generations. Badgers or mostly found in southern Norway, but they have been seen as far north as Mo i Rana.